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Live Commentary: Spanish Grand Prix - as it happened

Read how Fernando Alonso won the Spanish Grand Prix in front of his adoring home fans in Barcelona.
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After a three-week break, Formula 1 headed to the Spanish Grand Prix after an Eastern start to the season.

Although Mercedes dominated qualifying, it was Ferrari who controlled the race, with home favourite Fernando Alonso claiming victory.

Read how it all unfolded at the Circuit de Catalunya in our lap-by-lap updates below.


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Afternoon all! F1 is back in Europe and we're in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix.

If you didn't catch yesterday's qualifying, click here to read our summary. It was a third straight pole position for Mercedes as Nico Rosberg produced a near-perfect lap to oust teammate Lewis Hamilton.

TOP 10: Here's the top 10 for the start of today's race: 1 Rosberg 2 Hamilton 3 Vettel 4 Raikkonen 5 Alonso 6 Grosjean 7 Webber 8 Perez 9 Massa 10 Di Resta

Felipe Massa actually qualified sixth-fastest but was given a three-place grid penalty for blocking Mark Webber during quali yesterday.

Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery has just told Sky Sports F1 that a two-stop strategy is not possible today. He expects a three-stopper to be the winning formula.

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn admits that his cars' qualifying performance has tended to be better than their race pace. Can the duo of Rosberg and Hamilton complete a front-row lockout?

PREDICTION! With 15 minutes until the race begins, it's time for my prediction and I can't look past Mr Vettel. The Red Bull should be rapid in the race and I can see the German overtaking the two Mercedes during the pit-stop phases.

Here's a quick rundown on the Circuit de Catalunya. The track is about half an hour north of Barcelona and the 22 cars will go around the 4.65km circuit 66 times. It's a clockwise track and there are 16 corners, seven left and nine right.

The supporters will be begging that home favourite Fernando Alonso can get the job done. He starts fifth today just behind Kimi Raikkonen, who is Vettel's closest challenger for the championship at the moment.

Click here to see the driver rankings ahead of this race. Vettel leads by 10 at the moment.

The two Mercedes will know that they have to maintain their places at the front after the first two corners. They'll also be (secretly) hoping that there's a bit of carnage behind that could hold up their rivals.

WEATHER WATCH! It's a sunny day in Barcelona and there's no rain expected so we should have a dry race. The formation lap is about to begin.

FORMATION LAP! Rosberg sets off on a single circuit of the track so the drivers can warm up their cars. Whey they return to the home straight five lights will illuminate, then vanish and the Spanish Grand Prix will be underway.

Vettel is whinging about the two Mercedes in front of him. The German says they are going "ridiculously slow" and urges them to hurry up. They're allowed to go at whatever speed they like.

GO GO GO! The Spanish Grand Prix is underway.

Vettel into second, Alonso moves above Hamilton into fourth. Rosberg still leads.

Vettel's all over the back of Rosberg as Hamilton falls further back from Alonso.

A horrible start from Button, he's dropped from 14th to 17th.

Rosberg still leads but surely Vettel and Alonso will be zipping past soon. Raikkonen remains behind Hamilton a little further back.

Massa sets the fastest lap and now DRS is enabled as we're on the third lap.

Will any of the top five be able to make a move on the long home straight with the aid of DRS?

Massa is the fastest man out there right now and he's just behind Raikkonen.

No-one gets a move done as each of the top six had a lead of about half a second to the car behind.

Looking at replays of the start, Hamilton got away quite well but locked his brakes up to allow Vettel and then Alonso around the outside.

TOP 10 UPDATE! 1 Rosberg 2 Vettel 3 Alonso 4 Hamilton 5 Raikkonen 6 Massa 7 Perez 8 Sutil 9 Grosjean 10 Di Resta

A great start from Sutil as well then. He was down in 13th at the start but has jumped up to fifth and overtaken teammate Di Resta.

One problem that the Mercedes's have had this year is using too much of their fuel early on. Are Rosberg and Hamilton going to suffer later on in the race?

RAIKKONEN overtakes Hamilton for fourth place and now it's Alonso all over the back of the Mercedes, which is said to be struggling with brake issues.

Webber is the first in the pit. He didn't start well and entered the pit lane in 12th.

An easy peasy pass for Massa as he sweeps around the outside of Hamilton. Will the Mercedes have to come in soon?

The Brazilian comes straight into the pits though. Maybe Ferrari have spotted a gap for their driver?

OUT! Grosjean seems to have damaged his right-rear suspension and he limps back to the pit. He's out. Sutil's Force India seems to be damaged as well.

The other Ferrari is next in and it's a great pit stop from Alonso. He's followed in by Hamilton but Mercedes can only manage a 5.6s stop. That's three seconds slower than Alonso.

The two leaders come into the pit and Rosberg just returns ahead of Vettel. Alonso zooms past Vettel on the pit straight and now he's all over Rosberg's rear wing. Ferrari will be delighted.

PENALTY! Maldonado has been given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. It's been a nightmare weekend for last year's winner.

It appears that stopping early has paid dividends in these early stages but will that come back to bite the likes of Webber and Massa later on?

ALONSO into the lead on the pit straight! Great pass from the Spaniard and the crowd go wild!

And now Vettel smartly nips down the inside of Rosberg before Massa also gets past the Mercedes. The polesitter is really struggling out there and now has Raikkonen on his back. Vettel is now the meat of a Ferrari sandwich in the top three.

It seems that Rosberg and Hamilton's Mercedes can't adapt to the harder compound of tyre like the other teams as Raikkonen also gets past Rosberg who was leading moments ago but is now fifth.

Here's Telegraph journalist Oliver Brown: "So the battle-lines are drawn once more: Alonso v Vettel. The two finest all-round drivers of the current generation, no question."

At the moment it's Alonso looking the stronger as he's pulled over a second clear of Vettel, who will be perhaps more worried about Massa behind him.

One man who is having a good race is Perez. The Mexican is currently seventh and catching both Webber and Rosberg in front. It's a real contrast at McLaren with Button down in 14th.

Hamilton, meanwhile, really has fallen away and he's now down in 10th.

Webber reports back to the pit that he's not happy with his front-left tyre. That's the one out of the four that takes the most punishment around the Circuit de Catalunya.

Massa ducks into the pit and he had to make that stop because his tyres were falling away desperately. That's the Brazilian's second stop and we're not even a third of the way through the race.

TOP 10 UPDATE! We're now a third of the way through so here's an update on the points scorers as it stands: 1 Alonso 2 Vettel 3 Raikkonen 4 Rosberg 5 Perez 6 Ricciardo 7 Massa 8 Di Resta 9 Hamilton 10 Hulkenburg

Alonso is also in the pit as he puts on a fresh set of hard tyres. Surely the Ferraris are on for a four-stopper here?

So now it's Vettel who leads the race from Raikkonen and Rosberg, with Alonso back out in fourth.

Ignore that! Alonso has just zipped past Rosberg on the home straight and he's now third and absolutely flying.

Whoa! Backmarker Van der Garde's wheel has fallen off but somehow he's made it back to the pit, wheelie-ing his way down the pit lane!

"Box, box, box," Vettel is told and he ducks into the pit, releasing Raikkonen into the lead. Alonso is up into second now but will he have to make a stop more than the Red Bull?

Hamilton comes in for his second stop and yet again it's a sluggish tyre change from the Mercedes boys. The Englishman, who started second, is back out in 14th.

Leader Raikkonen has to pit for a second time and he's back out around three seconds behind Vettel. Massa currently sits behind Alonso in second but he will have to have another pit stop.

Vettel is told on the team radio that looking after his left-front is "critical".

Rosberg pits from fourth and comes out in ninth. Mercedes weren't expecting to challenge despite their qualifying performance but they'll still be disappointed with this showing.

Hamilton is clearly frustrated as he says: 'yes, I was just overtaken by a Williams," or something like that, somewhat jokingly.

And now Hamilton is told to look after his rear-left and he simply replies: "I can't drive any slower." He's a very unhappy bunny.

Vettel's Red Bull isn't quite performing as expected and Raikkonen, on slightly newer tyres is all over the back of the German as we approach half-race distance.

Raikkonen remains under a second behind Vettel but he just can't quite get the pass done. Alonso's lead at the front back to Massa is 11 second while he's 18 clear of Vettel. Impressive.

OH! Raikkonen is ever so close to passing Vettel but he can't quite make it happen as he runs out of road around the outside.

PASS! The Finn does manage to squeeze through on the second corner after a great tow on the home straight. The Ferrari fans in the stands are delighted as that will see Vettel lose more points.

TOP 10 UPDATE! 1 Alonso 2 Massa 3 Raikkonen 4 Vettel 5 Webber 6 Di Resta 7 Rosberg 8 Gutierrez 9 Button 10 Hulkenburg

Alonso pits from the lead and soon after his teammate Massa also comes in. Both men get 3.1s stops and Alonso comes out just behind Raikkonen, who may need to only stop once more like Alonso. Do we have a race on our hands?

Alonso is on fresher tyres and he's now under a second behind Raikkonen as it looks like a Caterham is struggling on the outside of the track.

PUNCTURE! Toro Rosso's Vergne's right rear falls to pieces but he just about manages to make it back to the pit.

Alonso overtook Raikkonen easily on the home straight and he's now about three seconds clear at the front.

Alonso is looking so so good at the moment. He's 6.4s clear of Raikkonen who will now be more worried about the charging Massa behind him.

TOP 10 UPDATE! Two-thirds of the way through, here's the latest points scorers: 1 Alonso 2 Raikkonen 3 Massa 4 Vettel 5 Webber 6 Rosberg 7 Di Resta 8 Button 9 Perez 10 Ricciardo

Surely this race is Alonso's? Raikkonen makes his third stop and he'll now have to go 20 laps on that final set of tyres if he has any chance of challenging the Spaniard.

Ferrari now know that Alonso's final pit stop is effectively the only thing stopping the Spaniard winning this in front of a home crowd.

And here he comes! The race leader comes in and it's a fantastic stop from the engineers in red. The Spaniard, who hasn't won the world championship since 2006, is on the way to a crucial win that will cut the gap significantly to Vettel.

Fifteen laps left in the Catalonian sunshine and Button has just overtaken former teammate Hamilton for 11th place. Not where either men would want to be, nowhere near in fact.

The field is pretty well spread out at the moment. Alonso is 10 seconds clear at the front, with Massa a further chunk behind ahead of the two Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber.

The most interesting battles left now are likely to be towards the back end of the top 10.

Into the final 10 laps then and it doesn't look like we'll be seeing any changes at the front. Massa has just set the fastest lap but he needs to make up a second a lap if he's to have any chance of challenging Raikkonen for second.

It doesn't look like Hamilton will be able to get inside the top 10 while Rosberg has fallen from pole position down to sixth. Horrible race pace from the silver arrows.

FIVE LAPS TO GO! The closest racing going on inside the top 10 right now is between Rosberg and Di Resta for sixth and the McLarens of Button and Perez for eighth.

Di Resta can't quite get past Rosberg on the home straight. He's still got four laps to make the pass.

Alonso into his penultimate lap. What a fantastic race for Ferrari and the home hero. It looks like the prancing horses will have two men on the podium.

FERNANDO ALONSO WINS THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX!

The grandstands and hills covered with sunbaked supporters erupts as Alonso coasts over the line. His fist emerges from the cockpit and halfway round the celebration lap he gets a Spanish flag and lets if flutter in the wind as he makes his way back to the pits.

Ferrari were sublime throughout in what was probably the dullest race of 2013 so far.

In terms of the drivers standings, there's no change at the top of the rankings although both Alonso and Raikkonen have closed the gap to Vettel at the top.

Thanks for joining Sports Mole this afternoon. The next F1 race is in two weeks and it's a biggie as the glitz and glam heads to the glitziest location of all - Monaco. See you then.

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McLaren Formula One driver's Jenson Button and Sergio Perez on March 22, 2013
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After an impressive opening day, Great Britain play their final group game against a Fiji side level with them at the top of the pool, but also yet to hit their brilliant best (1.30am)

TAEKWONDO
· After disappointment for friend and housemate Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden will go for gold in the women's +67kg category (2am-2.30pm)
· Mahama Cho is another medal contender for Team GB in the men's +80kg class (2am-2.30pm)

SWIMMING
· Team GB's Duncan Scott has the chance to claim his first individual Olympic medal in the men's 200m freestyle final. Teammate Tom Dean is also involved. (2.43am)
· Kathleen Dawson is the Team GB representative in the women's 100m backstroke final (2.51am)

DIVING
· Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson will look to emulate Tom Daley and Matty Lee's success in the women's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three-time Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin is part of a Team GB team going for gold in the dressage team Grand Prix final (9.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Superstar Simone Biles leads the United States side in the women's team final (11.45am-2.10pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women's team play their final group game, taking on Canada with qualification for the knockout rounds already secured (12pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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